Goethe-Institut Amsterdam – Joseph Sassoon Semah – Exhibition ‘On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) IV‘

Goethe-Institut  Amsterdam , Herengracht 470, Amsterdam
28 October 2021- 30 December 2021, Joseph Sassoon Semah – Exhibition ‘On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) IV‘

28 October 2021, 20.00 p.m. Performance and Meeting

Mati Shemoelof (Poet, Author, Editor, Journalist, Berlin, https://mati-s.com) & Joseph Sassoon Semah (Amsterdam, http://www.josephsemah.nl), English

The discussion about the creative activities of Joseph Beuys adhere to Eurocentric culture in general and to post-war German culture in particular. And yet, what will happen when two Iraqi Jews, i.e. Babylonian Jews – who live in two European capitals, Berlin and Amsterdam, respectively – decided to deconstruct Beuys’s post war art production. Could we give these two guests who became our host free speech, and should we listen to their desire to reclaim the Jewish Babylonian tradition from Joseph Beuys’s art? Most of the research on Joseph Beuys artistic activity has been generated by theories concerning Eurocentric culture, values and experiences, however this time we have the opportunity to hear other voices, a different reading which comes from the East, i.e. from thousand years of Babylonian Jewish interpretive texts and thoughts that criticize Beuys’ work.

11 November 2021, 20.00 p.m. Perfomance and Meeting

Rick Vercauteren (publicist and art historian)  & Joseph Sassoon Semah
‘Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell: Zwischen Dichtung und Wahrheit‘

Joseph Beuys manifested himself post-war as the new Messiah, as a healer, as a shaman for the Germans, to free himself as perpetrator and free the Germans of their guilt. Vostell embodies the victim and claims to embody the German guilt, to fill the vacuum that the genocide left behind. Wolf Vostell claimed since the early 1950’s that his mother was a Sephardic Jew. However, it wasn’t until many years later that scholars began to inquire about Wolf’s ‘fabricated’ autobiography.

Joseph Sassoon Semah and Rick Vercauteren will focus on the German artist duo Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell.